General Idea

(1969 - 1994)

AA Bronson

Canadian (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1946)

Felix Partz

Canadian (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1945 - 1994)

Jorge Zontal

Canadian, born Italy (Parma, Italy, 1944 - 1994, Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Cornucopia: Fragments from the Room of the Unknown Function in the Villa dei Misterei of The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion

1982-1983
video installation | mixed media video installation
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Cornucopia: Fragments from the Room of the Unknown Function in the Villa dei Misterei of The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion

    General Idea, AA Bronson, Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, Cornucopia: Fragments from the Room of the Unknown Function in the Villa dei Misterei of The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion, 1982-1983; mixed media video installation, 96 in. x 168 in. x 96 in. (243.84 cm x 426.72 cm x 243.84 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © General Idea


Cornucopia presents faux artifacts from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pageant and Pavilion, a fictional conceit on which much of General Idea's work is based.

The three-man collective simulates scholarly art research and anthropological study, anticipating a future moment when its artworks might be discovered as enigmatic ruins, inevitably subject to misinterpretation. Referring to the ways in which history is revised to fit new situations, the collective has created its own mythology with incisive wit as a form of social and art-world critique.

Informed by many sources, among them the beauty pageant, the documentary television show (such as Nature or Wild Kingdom), and the museum itself, Cornucopia is a multimedia installation that emphasizes the subjectivity of art history through the artifice of display.

Video and audio are combined with seven ceramic forms, each shaped like the end of a cornucopia, that revolve within display cases atop high pillars. A television set on the platform below presents a 10-minute video. A male voice on the soundtrack is used to represent the objective point of view and introduce context, while a female voice, both subjective and interpretive, supplies the exposition.


96 in. x 168 in. x 96 in. (243.84 cm x 426.72 cm x 243.84 cm)
Acquired 1997
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund purchase
© General Idea
97.427.A-EEE

Tags

art history, artifacts, narration, representation, televisions, pedestals, beauty pageants, competitions, phallic symbols


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